What happened every time a player or manager underestimated Liverpool pre-match

Arsenal v Olympique Lyonnais - Emirates Cup

Only two clubs have 100% records in the Premier League after two matches.

They are Liverpool and Arsenal and they clash at Anfield on Saturday evening.

Liverpool have overcome Norwich and Southampton, while Arsenal have had narrow victories over Newcastle and Burnley.

But Saturday's encounter will surely be the toughest test of the campaign so far for each of them.

However, it seems one Arenal player would rather face the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino than Burnley, who they beat 2-1 at the weekend.

Ahead of the weekend’s clash, Arsenal defender Sokratis said: "It is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot – but they also play football"

He could be made to look a bit silly if Liverpool replicate last season’s 5-1 thrashing against the Gunners at Anfield.

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League

He wouldn’t be the first, though.

On numerous occasions, players and managers have underestimated Anfield and Liverpool before coming up against the Reds - and it always ends badly.

So, we’ve decided to look at other occasions in which Liverpool have made a mockery of pre-match statements.

Marcelino | May 2016

Who? Villareal manager

Match: Liverpool vs Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final second leg, in which Villarreal led 1-0 from the first-leg.

What did he say? "It's a real pleasure to be able to play here and something that will be a really nice occasion for us.

"But in no way whatsoever will we be affected by the atmosphere in any adverse manner at all. If anything, we will be affected in a positive way.

"We will be galvanised by the atmosphere and I think it will drive us on to perform better ourselves, once we experience it. We have that feeling we can get through to the final."

What happened? It was anything but a ‘nice occasion.’ An own-goal by Bruno Soriano after just seven minutes set the tone as Liverpool progressed to the final with a 3-0 victory.

Liverpool v Villarreal CF - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: Second Leg

Julian Nagelsmann | August 2017

Who? Hoffenheim manager

Match: Liverpool’s Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim, in which Liverpool led 2-1 from the first leg.

What did he say? "I don't think if we win it will be a shock. I don't really make a difference between home or away matches, so I don't really care [where the game is played].

"I am not overly in awe of this club. We are good enough not to have to hide here."

What happened? Liverpool led 3-0 after 21 minutes on their way to a 6-3 aggregate win to progress to the group stages of the Champions League.

Nagelsmann changed his tune on the Liverpool crowd after the match by saying: “The crowd could sense that and really got behind Liverpool and you know that's how atmosphere builds here. We were running around like headless chickens.”


Neymar | September 2018

Who? Paris Saint-Germain player

Match: Liverpool vs PSG in the opening match of Champions League group stage.

What did he say? “Man City will win the league. “Second will be United, third is Chelsea.

"Fourth is Tottenham…. No Liverpool.”

What happened? Days later, Liverpool beat PSG 3-2 thanks to a last-minute goal from Roberto Firmino. On their way to finishing second in the Premier League on 97 points and winning the Champions League.

Liverpool v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C

Leroy Sane | April 2018

Who? Manchester City player

Match: Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Man City.

What did he say? "For me, it makes it a lot of fun to play when the atmosphere is really loud.

”I don’t think we’ll bother too much about the noise."

What happened? Man City’s bus got smashed by Liverpool fans on its way to the stadium as Pep Guardiola took his frustrations out on a steward upon his arrival at Anfield.

"City didn't regain their composure and found themselves 3-0 down by half-time. City lost 5-1 on aggregate."


Dries Mertens | December 2018

Who? Napoli player

Match: A crunch Champions League group stage match in which Liverpool needed to beat Napoli 1-0 or by two clear goals to leapfrog the Italian side into the last-16.

What did he say? When remembering his first visit to Anfield, he decided to question the significance of the ‘This is Anfield’ sign in the tunnel.

He said: “I’m looking at this small thing [the sign] and asking, ‘Is this so special?’"

What happened? Liverpool won 1-0 and progressed to the last-16 - they went on to win the competition, while Napoli dropped into the Europa League.


Luis Suarez | April 2019

Who? Barcelona player - former Liverpool player.

Match: Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona, in which Barca led 3-0 from the first leg.

What did he say? “I won’t get booed at Anfield. "Not at Anfield. In fact not in English football in general.

"When I went to Manchester United they whistled me of course! But your own fans… it's very unlikely that you hear that. I expect more applause than whistles.”

What happened? Suarez was booed for 90 minutes as Liverpool overturned their 3-0 deficit by winning 4-0.


Sokratis | August 2019

Who? Arsenal player

Match: Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Arsenal this weekend.

What did he say? “It is a different game.

"Maybe it is more easy [than Burnley], because you don’t have to fight a lot, but they also play football.”

What will happen? We’ll find out on Saturday evening whether Sokratis will come to regret his comments just like all those before him…

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
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